India has been elected as a member of the Intergovernmental Committee of Unesco’s 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage for the 2022 to 2026-cycle. An announcement in this regard was made by G Kishan Reddy, Union Minister for Culture, Tourism and Development of North Eastern Region.
The elections took place during the ninth General Assembly of the 2003 Convention held at Unesco headquarters in Paris, from July 5 to 7.
Against the four seats falling vacant within the Asia-Pacific group, six countries, namely, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Thailand had presented their candidature. India received 110 votes from the 155 State Parties that were present and voting.
The Intergovernmental Committee of the 2003 Convention consists of 24 members and is elected in the General Assembly of the Convention according to the principles of equitable geographical representation and rotation. States Members to the Committee are elected for a term of four years.
Some of the core functions of the Intergovernmental Committee include promoting the objectives of the Convention, providing guidance on best practices, and making recommendations on measures for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage. The committee also examines requests submitted by States Parties for the inscription of intangible heritage on the Lists as well as proposals for programmes and projects.
In the past, India has served two terms as a member of the Intergovernmental Committee of this Convention; one from 2006 to 2010 and the other from 2014 to 2018.
For its 2022-2026 term, India has formulated a clear vision for the protection and promotion of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Some of the priority areas that India will focus upon include fostering community participation, strengthening international cooperation through intangible heritage, promoting academic research on intangible cultural heritage, and aligning the work of the Convention with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This vision was also shared with the other State Parties of the Convention prior to the elections.